Feb. 25, 2008


We Are Doin Fine


          We are all currently doing good, just your normal changes in life, with Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, etc. passing by, nothing major has happened in the last week or so.  We traveled back home to California and Reno to visit our families and some friends in early December.  It was a good trip, everything went as planned.  It was nice to see my mom again, she is looking good for her age.  We also visited Marisa's mom in Reno, she has not changed much either, it is always good to see them, especially when they are doing so good.  We try to visit the moms every year.  We visited with friends in Folsom and Rancho Cordova, and the family all met at mom's for a pizza lunch.  We had a good time, we enjoyed the visit a lot.  We traveled to Reno to visit with Marisa's family, we were especially anxious to see our niece Kayelee again.  She is just a year younger than Brandon and the 2 have kind of grown up together.  We don't see her enough.  We stayed in Reno a couple of days, then headed back to Sac.  We were so tired by then, we vegged until our flight the next day.


          When we came home from California, Shawn and Rachel were on the same flight, headed to DFW to visit us.  I said to Shawn, "Good Timing!"


          Brandon started a Dungeon's and Dragon's game last year, where him and his friends meet here every week or so and play the game up stairs in the media room.  He is the Dungeon Master and does all the work to setup the game and keep things going.  They have kind of dropped off since the holidays, but he is hoping things will pick up soon.


          I traveled to California by myself late last month to attend a meeting for my company, a kick off meeting for 2008.  I got to see mom again, my sister and Shawn, but I wasn't in town long enough to do much visiting.  Shawn showed up at my hotel and we went over to Round Table for beer and pizza, Rachel couldn't make it.  We had a good visit.


          I am ready for some warmer weather.  Many friends and family members say they like the cold better, and maybe it's my age, but I don't like the cold weather, no it's not my age, I have never really liked the cold weather.  Spring and summer mornings here, you can go outside in shorts and a t-shirt and drink a cup of coffee, I like to be able to do that.  Sometimes I get so cold I cannot warm up.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!



Me and Mom





At Mom's House




FREE Pictures


Remember that any picture you see here or on our Web Site, you can have for free.  All you have to do is Email me explaining which picture it is you want.  Let me know what type of Internet access you have, and any Email file size limits.  I will send you the full sized original file, not the modified reduced file you see here.  And if you don't have a fast connection, I can set it up so you can download it from the Web Site, just let me know


          I have added a new section on the Web Site of pictures I have taken over the years.  I have 100's of 1,000's of pictures that I have taken, including some that were taken using film that I have scanned into my computer.  Most in this new section are digital.  Click below to view my Photo Gallery, click on each thumbnail picture to open a larger picture;


Don't miss the last page "Gary's Gallery of Cartoons"


Other Photo Sections on the Web Site are;



Click around - there may be even more!




Pet's Christmas


In Reno




Back to Iraq


          Shawn is back in the military, serving in the Army Reserves and yes he is headed back to Iraq.  He says this time will not be as long, and he is in a different job classification.  He is no longer in the infantry, thank God!  He says he is going later this year, about mid year.  I will keep you up to date on his tour of duty there, and although I cannot say where he is or what he is doing, I will give as much information as I can.  He says he is going to keep in touch better this time, the last time he was there they had a hard time at first getting to a phone or use of a computer to get on the Internet.  He said things are better there now for the military to use devices to communicate to family and friends back home.


Very Sad News


          We recently lost another close family member.  My cousin Craig, the son of my mother's brother Gene, and his first wife Ellen passed away on January 17th.  We all have to go sometime, but Craig was way too young, he was younger than me.  It was so sudden too, no one expected it.  The saddest part of this story is that Craig's sister Roseanne (Rose) past away a few years ago, my uncle Gene's only children, both gone.  You should never have to bury your children.  Uncle Gene, we are always thinking of you, and your sorrow.

          I don't like talking about sad things, and I usually don't post them, however Craig was one of the cousins I grew up with, and even though I didn't see him much in our adult lives, I still felt close to him.  He grew up in Lincoln which seemed to be the settling place for the Bennett family in them days, it was not far from where we lived.  Craig and Rose were around the same age as Sandie and myself, Rose was between Sandie and me, and Craig was the youngest.  Craig and I played together, and the girls didn't want us hanging around, so we spied on them.


          We are thinking of Craig and Roseanne, and all of our family members from the the Bennett side of our family who have past, I have created a page to honor them here!  Please say a prayer for them...


Living in Texas


          Living in Texas has been an experience.  I have lived outside California before, I did an 11 year stay in Arkansas, but Marisa has never been past Nevada, with the exception of a trip to Arizona with her mother, and a trip to Orlando, FL when we went to Disney World, and a quick trip she made when her company sent her to Delaware.  She has never lived in another State, except for Nevada and California.  But everyone needs a change, and we made the change because the economy is getting tight in California, and things are a little better here.  Gas prices on the average are 30 to 40 cents cheaper per gallon, property taxes are more, over double of Sacramento County, however with the absence of State Income tax, that evens out.  Jobs here are easier to find, however you need to have at least an AA degree in order to get any good job.  Most employers expect some college.  In fact some police departments require at a minimum an AA and some require a BA degree.  Although we miss our families and friends, we think the schools here are better, and growing up here seems to be a good thing.  This is a great place for starting a family.  Another big difference is the housing market.  There was never a housing boom here, in fact we bought a home at the same amount as we owed on our home in Folsom, and got twice the square footage, and over 5 times the yard, which the dogs just love.  We are living in an upscale neighborhood where all of the homes are custom.  A lot different from the track home we came from.


          We have been in Texas now for almost 3 years.  It is beginning to feel like home, actually it has felt like home for a long time, but now it's difficult to remember much about driving around Sacramento.  The Dallas/Fort Worth area is about as large as LA, but it doesn't seem to be as populated.  Traffic problems here are where you can only go 30 mph on the freeway, that's nothing to the 0 mph I have experienced going from Folsom to Sacramento on Hwy 50, which is a twice a day event.


          If you have any questions about the proud State of Texas, just let me know.  We are not experts on the State, but because we lived somewhere else for most of our lives, I think we can be objective.  We would be happy to answer any questions you may have, of course except for those that may incriminate me...



Round  Table Pizza, Folsom









New article coming to the Web

Site - "The Bulls of Southlake"



Taken in Keller Texas




          Don't forget about my Downloads Page on the Web Site.  I will try to place important files there from time to time for you to download, or link to the vendor's Web Site, which ever is easiest for you.  I know most of you have dial-up access so I will try to make things smaller to run faster on your machine.


          I have added some links that I think some of you will enjoy, if you haven't checked them out before, check them out.  Especially check out Google Earth.  If you haven't seen what it is, download it and install it, you can zoom in on anyplace on earth.  It also includes Google Sky, which shows the night sky and all of the stars.  You can see what the sky looks like from your house, right on your screen.  My Links Page...



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